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Voter voices: Opinions vary about how to handle the physical, financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 22:08:56-05

It's not just propositions and presidential candidates on the ballot this year; voters will be deciding on how our country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

ABC15 has spent the past several weeks talking to voters about what that recover should look like.

For every voter we spoke to, concerns about the pandemic are at the top of mind, but what to do about it differs widely.

Voter Harriett who lives in the Southeast Valley, is in a high-risk group and believe masks should be a non-negotiable.

"There should be a mandate. Everyone in this country should be wearing a mask, it should not be left up to the mayors of each city. It should be a state mandate. It should be across the United States, everyone wearing masks," she said.

We spoke to another voter, Elizabeth Joseph, a colonic and nutrition spa owner, who says she believe the mask mandates and restrictions should be done away with. Instead she thinks leaders should be promoting boosting our immune systems.

"How are they banning and shutting down businesses asking us to wear a mask, but no one has mentioned vitamins or saying don't eat fast food at this time?"

Patricia Johnson, a senior from Sun Lakes, say life has been on hold. In normal times she would have been on an international trip with one daughter and in Texas visiting the other.

For Johnson a vaccine cannot get here quickly enough. "I really would like to see our federal government and our state governments develop plans together," she said.

We also heard from small businesses and those who rely on them.

Mikki Gray, a bartender in Phoenix, is fearful that neighborhood bars like the one she works won't sure the limits on entertainment and capacity.

"I feel like they're trying to run, run us out," she said. "All of us all the little bars. We just don't matter, you know."

For Steven Diep who manages Mekong Plaza in Mesa, one of his biggest concern is to "get this virus under control."

Equally as concerning is how to get more cash to the small businesses inside the mall before they are forced to close for good.

"What they need to do is to push out that stimulus packet as soon as possible, because, you know, they're, they're running out of money. And I don't see no other way, but to, you know, kind of pump money into the system until this pandemic is over," he said.

Grandmothers Rosanna Gallagher of Buckeye, and Harriett who was mentioned earlier, don't know one another but their worries are the same: how people treat those who don't look like them and think like them.

"This division in our country--that keeps me up," Gallagher said. "Because I want better for my grandchildren and our children."

Harriet is concerned about her grandchildren living in a country that she says is as racially divided as she's ever seen it.

"We are there now. And if something doesn't change very soon, something doesn't change. It's going to get worse," she said.